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Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a bacterial infection of the respiratory system that is known to affect children below five years of age. It affects the lungs and is caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis. In some cases, even adults can also be afflicted with this infection. The infection is characterized by coughing or bouts of coughing, which is followed by a whooping sound made by the patient as they gasp for breath.
Also, symptoms of a whooping cough are similar to that of cold and include low-grade fever, sneezing, runny nose. mild coughing, sore throat, loss of appetite, weakness, tears, and inability to sleep. Allopathic medicines, mainly antibiotics and cough suppressants, are prescribed by doctors but they impact the body adversely and do not treat the disease completely either. On the other hand, Ayurveda remedies are gentle in nature. They do not carry any side effects and cure the infection completely.
Here are some well-known and effective Ayurvedic remedies for whooping cough.
- Basil (Tulsi): Basil or Tulsi is one of the oldest and most popular herbs that carry strong anti-bacterial properties. Being an anti-allergic as well, it boosts the immune system and helps the body fight various infections. It provides instant relief from cough, cold, and fever.
- Calamus (Vacha): This proves to be very effective in curing coughing. It flushes out phlegm and clears congestion. It also provides relief from a sore throat and cures hoarseness of voice.
- Honey (Shahad): It is a gentle antibiotic and mild cough suppressant. Since it is sweet in taste, it is perfect for children. It soothes the throat walls and calms the patient. It can be consumed with lukewarm water as well.
- Ginger (Adrak): A natural cough suppressant, ginger gives relief in throat irritation. Analgesic in nature, it also reduces pain in the throat and body. Its anti-inflammatory action relaxes the irritated respiratory tract and eliminates mucus from the lungs. Since ginger is bitter, its juice can be mixed with honey before consumption.
- Dashamuli Ghrita: Medicated clarified butter (ghee) is for external use and it gives quick relief from a sore throat when massaged on the chest. It is also effective in the case of coughing as ghee loosens the cough. It provides relief from congestion too.
- Oil Massage: Massaging the chest and throat with ginger, cinnamon, or eucalyptus oil gives relief from nighttime congestion and cough. It soothes the throat and ensures sound sleep.
- Black Pepper (Kaali Mirch): Black pepper is a natural decongestant and thus, clears the nasal passage, bringing relief in coughing. It also eases the respiratory tract and boosts the immune system, helping it to fight the bacterial infection. To dilute its bitter taste, a little honey can be added during consumption.
Ayurveda believes that a whooping cough is the result of vata and kapha imbalance in the body and hence, all these remedies focus on correcting this imbalance. Though all these remedies are safe and free from side effects, it is always advised to consult an Ayurveda doctor. If given on one’s own, the dosage should be kept light.
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